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Linda Spalding

Linda Spalding at the Charles W. Stockey Centre on 16 April

It was snowing - the sort of blizzard we might expect in the dead of winter - when I went to bed the night of April 15. Linda Spalding was booked to read at the Stockey Centre the next day – I had visions of having to postpone her reading because of the weather – but luckily the day dawned sunny, the snow melted and we had an enthusiastic audience in the hall on Wednesday evening.

I had not met Linda until she arrived here, we chatted over dinner and I was charmed by her friendliness and her readiness to talk about anything and everything. We took a break for the reading, then talked all evening.

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Linda read from her novel The Purchase, winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. She also talked about the story behind the story, such a rich family history just waiting for her to mine it for her novel. The expression “truth is stranger than fiction” comes to mind as Linda told us that in reality her ancestor had seven children – her editor told her it was too many for readers to keep track of so poor Daniel had to lose a couple of children for his transition from fact to fiction.

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We were treated to an evening of delight in the written word by an author who charmed the audience and excited us all with her enthusiasm for her subject and her life as a writer. Literary readings are all about getting the words off the page and having the author share her story – Linda Spalding gave us that and more.

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